Home Business State not interested in SBL products, Linturi tells Parliament

State not interested in SBL products, Linturi tells Parliament

PHOTO | Abdiazziz Hashim.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi has said the government has not procured alleged soil conditioner sold by embattled fertiliser manufacturer, SBL Innovate, neither is it interested in the products under the Fertiliser Subsidy Programme.

While appearing before the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock, Linturi told the legislators that the firm had entered a commercial contract with the National Cereals and Produce Board for the distribution of its products on March 31, 2022.

Channel 1

“NCPB has a commercial wing where anybody who meet certain criteria would be able to put through their products through our channel system, and NCPB because it has a commercial wing, will be paid a commission out of the availability of that facility for any manufacturer to distribute this kind of a commodity or any other that anybody would be willing to,” said Linturi.

According to the ministry, SBL Innovate had distributed 70,143 bags of the said products through NCPB depots since 2022.
Until suspension of the commercial contract on March 9, 2024 Linturi said NCPB has seized 3,276 bags of the said consignment with the firms further directed to withdraw the products from the market.

“I would want it to come out clearly that we do not or we have not and we have no intention of getting the soil conditioner from SBL Innovate as part of our subsidies that we are giving to farmers and even this product or the commercial contract was signed even before this administration came into place,” he told the committee.

Linturi said the government now intends to procure 12,502,998 bags of fertiliser this year under the subsidy programme this year.
Linturi said with 11 suppliers identified in 2021/22 the government distributed 235,733 bags of subsidized fertiliser to farmers and another 489,910 bags in the FY2022/23 using 12 suppliers.

“In the FY2023/24 have paid Ksh 4,161,593,087 for the short rains, and the long rain which is the season we are in up to March 14, we have paid Ksh 1,217,834,837 meaning for the four years we have paid a total of Ksh 8,977,943,899 as the total subsidy towards this programme,” added Linturi.

The CS further assured the legislators that through the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) the ministry carries out at least 500 tests annually to ensure products being sold to farmers are of good quality, though the agency lacks enforcement powers.

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